TALLAHASSEE, Fla. _ Following Hurricane Michael’s landfall near Mexico Beach in Bay County at approximately 2:00 p.m. EDT, Governor Rick Scott formally requested that President Donald Trump issue a Major Disaster Declaration. See Governor Scott’s request HERE. This will expedite resources and assistance for impacted communities from the federal government. Following Governor Scott’s previous request, President Trump yesterday issued a pre-landfall Emergency Declaration.
On October 7th, Governor Scott declared a state of emergency in 26 Florida counties, and expanded it to include 35 total counties on October 8th. To see his Emergency Order, click HERE.
STATE PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS
- IF THERE ARE ALREADY STORM IMPACTS IN YOUR AREA, DO NOT GET ON THE ROAD. SHELTER IN PLACE.
- Please visit www.FloridaDisaster.org/info to see what evacuation orders are in place in your county.
- The State Emergency Response Team estimates that more than 375,000 Floridians have been ordered to evacuate.
- Currently 54 shelters are open with a population of nearly 6,700 people.
- Visit https://www.floridadisaster.org/shelter-status/ to find information on shelters in your area. This site is being updated as shelters open throughout the day.
- Prior to Hurricane Michael’s impact, Governor Scott has called on every local government to immediately confirm their mutual aid agreements between investor-owned utilities, municipals and co-ops are in place and effective so there is no delay in power restoration for Floridians. These agreements allow municipal utilities to receive aid from investor-owned utilities and co-ops as they work to restore power to customers. Without these agreements in place ahead of time, power restoration will be delayed. To view the full list of Florida utilities with agreements in place, click HERE.
- More than 19,000 power restoration personnel have been pre-positioned and are ready to respond.
- The current power outage as of 12:00 p.m. is 29,981.
- At Governor Scott’s direction, the Florida National Guard has activated 3,500 soldiers and airmen for pre-landfall coordination and planning, with an emphasis on high water and search and rescue operations.
- Through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), the Florida National Guard has coordinated for four CH-47 Chinook helicopters from the New York and Mississippi National Guards to augment our aviation capabilities.
- The Florida National Guard is performing a variety of missions, including staffing 12 shelters, preparing 30 Points of Distribution (PODs), running two Logistics Staging Areas (LSAs) in Tallahassee and Eglin and staffing the State Logistics Readiness Center (SLRC) in Orlando.
- The Florida National Guard has more than 1,000 high water vehicles, 13 helicopters and 16 boats and is preparing for possible missions to include humanitarian assistance, security operations, and search and rescue.
- The Florida National Guard will continue to work closely with civilian partner agencies, other National Guard states and active duty counterparts.
- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is actively monitoring Hurricane Michael and ready to respond. On standby are approximately 150 officers from outside the projected path ready to deploy if needed. This number will go up based on intensity of the storm. They will respond with a variety of specialized equipment, including shallow draft boats, ATVs, airboats and four wheel drive vehicles.
- FWC Special Operations Group (SOG) teams are ready to do reconnaissance missions.
- During patrols, FWC officers are reaching out to residents in the most rural areas of the potentially affected areas to make sure they are prepared for severe weather conditions.
- The Florida Highway Patrol has activated Alpha / Bravo for field troops throughout the state. This activation will result in regular days off being cancelled and 24-Hour enhanced coverage.
- The Florida Highway Patrol has 450 state troopers assigned to the Panhandle and Big Bend area of Florida to assist with evacuations. The Florida Highway Patrol will have another 150 state troopers deploying to impacted areas for assignments post landfall. All 600 state troopers will be assigned to response and recovery efforts throughout this event.
- The Florida Highway Patrol is actively monitoring the storm and assisting with emergency management missions.
- The Florida Highway Patrol currently has 24/7 representation within the State Emergency Operations Center coordinating preparation, response and recovery efforts. The Florida Highway Patrol is also staffing numerous County Emergency Operations Centers.
- Florida Highway Patrol will maintain high visibility on I-10 and associated evacuation routes to assist motorists, clear the roadways of any abandoned or disabled vehicles and will routinely check rest areas to assist residents and visitors.
- DHSMV’s Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) mobiles are on standby to respond to impacted areas as soon as the storm passes.
- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s (FDLE) Mutual Aid team is communicating with law enforcement partners and assisting with any needs they have.
- FDLE and other statewide law enforcement partners are working 24-hours at SEOC and in the Pensacola and Tallahassee regions.
- Six FDLE deployment teams are standing by to assist law enforcement following Hurricane Michael.
- Regional FDLE law enforcement coordination teams (RLECTS) are coordinating with urban search and rescue (USAR) teams to get in affected areas as soon as safely possible following the storm.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
- The State of Florida has activated five urban search and rescue task forces and resources to various strategic locations to prepare for response. An additional four task forces from the states of Mississippi and Louisiana will supplement in state teams with operations in the affected areas.
- CFO Jimmy Patronis has activated or placed on alert seven out of eight state Search and Rescue task forces in preparation for Hurricane Michael’s landfall.
TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC WORKS
- Governor Scott directed the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to suspend tolls effective immediately in the Northwest Florida region in preparation for Hurricane Michael. Tolls will be suspended at the following facilities: Mid-Bay Bridge and Spence Parkway (Okaloosa County), Garcon Point Bridge (Santa Rosa County), Bob Sikes Toll Bridge (Escambia County), and Orchard Pond Parkway (Leon County). By suspending tolls, Floridians and visitors will more easily be able to prepare for any potential storm impacts, access important hurricane supplies, and quickly and safely evacuate when necessary.
- FDOT is currently preparing roadways for impacts from Hurricane Michael.
- FDOT has suspended all construction operations from the roadways in the counties under the state of emergency.
- FDOT is coordinating with the Florida Highway Patrol on bridge and roadway closures and detours.
- FDOT is monitoring roadways for potential evacuations and identifying bridge inspectors statewide.
- FDOT is preparing all standby generators for traffic signal support.
- FDOT issued an Emergency Road Use Permit letter to relieve size and weight restrictions for vehicles responding to Hurricane Michael.
- FDOT participated in the regional coordination teleconference with Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina.
- FDOT issued Weigh Station Bypass letter to allow emergency response vehicles such as utility vehicles and bucket trucks to bypass all FDOT weigh stations.
- FDOT is supporting local evacuations and transport of local evacuees.
- Port of Pensacola and Port of Panama City have closed.
- FDOT is coordinating with utility companies to coordinate pre/post storm clean-up activities.
- Roads and bridges in impacted areas are closing. Please visit fl511.com for the latest information.
FOOD AND WATER
- The state is working to ensure adequate food resources are available for Florida residents impacted by Hurricane Michael, prioritizing based upon need. Specific activities include the following:
- Approximately 1.5 million meals ready to eat are prepared to be distributed
- Approximately 1 million gallons of water is prepared to be distributed.
- Approximately 40,000 10-pound bags of ice is prepared to be distributed or has been distributed.
PUBLIC HEALTH AND MEDICAL
- The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) is continuing to monitor the storm and regularly sharing information with waiver support coordinators and providers to ensure the health and safety of the customers the agency serves.
- APD is also checking on individuals with developmental disabilities who live in their own homes to ensure they are prepared for the hurricane.
- APD has canceled all guest reservations for the week for William J. Rish Recreational Park in Gulf County. The facility will be closed beginning Tuesday.
- APD is making Hawkins Park in Santa Rosa County available to utility trucks as a staging area.
- The Florida Department of Health (DOH) is actively monitoring Hurricane Michael and has activated ESF-8 personnel to staff the State Emergency Operations Center. Florida’s State Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip participated in a Florida Hospital Association Planning Call to discuss collaboration and making timely decisions regarding evacuations.
- DOH has initiated daily county ESF-8 conference calls with County Health Departments (CHDs) to determine local protective actions, status of local health care systems, special needs shelter status, and unmet needs.
- DOH is starting to support ESF-8 missions for Special Needs Shelters and patient requests.
- DOH has 19 Ambulance Strike Teams with 90 ambulances to support search and rescue operations, health care facility evacuations, and local EMS augmentation. DOH also has:
- 50 nurses to staff special needs shelters;
- Three federal disaster medical assistant teams with 105 staff; and
- One hospital augmentation team from the International Medical Corp including 50 nurses, two hospital emergency department teams and one emergency hospital.
- To prepare for, respond to, and mitigate any effect of Hurricane Michael, DOH issued an emergency order allowing health care professionals with a valid, unrestricted and unencumbered license in any state, territory, and/or district to render services in Florida during a period not to exceed thirty days (unless extended).
- DOH is actively identifying pre-positioned federal health and medical assets by type, quantity, and location.
- DOH is working to forecast long-range public health and medical resource needs and identify potential areas for EMAC and federal resource support.
- DOH is monitoring and supporting Special Needs Shelter operations through census reporting and resource support as requested by local emergency operations.
- CHDs are coordinating with their local County Emergency Management to ensure preparations are in place for Special Needs Shelters. Call downs are being conducted to persons on Special Needs Registries to ensure plans are in place for potential evacuations.
- CHDs are reviewing their local continuity of operations plans to ensure public health activities and CHD services are not interrupted by the storm.
- CHDs are conducting outreach to health care facilities within the county to ensure they are implementing facility level emergency plans.
- The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) is in contact with healthcare facilities to ensure they have the resources they need.
- AHCA has activated the Emergency Status System (ESS) for health care facilities in the panhandle to enter their storm preparedness status including generators and utility company information, emergency contacts, and bed availability.
- All nursing homes and assisted living facilities are required to keep residents in a safe environment in an emergency to ensure the protection of resident health, safety, welfare, and comfort.
- Facilities are required to have a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan approved and on file with the local emergency management agencies.
- Nursing facilities all have back-up power that can power medical equipment and refrigeration for medicine and food.
- Additionally, facilities are required to have an emergency power plan in place to ensure that resident occupied area temperatures do not exceed 81 degrees. These plans include onsite generators, delivered generators, or shifting populations to locations that can maintain comfortable temperatures.
- As part of licensure, facilities are responsible for the health and safety of their patients.
- The State is here to serve as a resource to connect facilities to the local emergency management officials to make sure needs are being met.
- AHCA staff has reached out to all hospital CEOs and all residential health care facilities in the panhandle.
- The Department of Elder Affairs continues communication with directors and emergency coordinators at the affected Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs).
- AAAs and Lead Agency staff assisted with getting frail and vulnerable seniors to special needs shelters and also coordinated with other clients to ensure that they were prepared in advance of the storm or had evacuated as appropriate.
- Home-delivered meal recipients in affected areas were provided extra shelf-stable meals.
- DOEA assists DOH with staffing and other efforts at Special Needs Shelters. The Director and Deputy Director of DOEA’s CARES Bureau are at Special Needs Shelters to assist with assessment of clients and the appropriate discharge plans following the storm.
- DOEA and our partners throughout the Aging Network stand ready to identify and assist with unmet needs of seniors in the storm’s path.
- The Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs (FDVA) operates six skilled nursing facilities and one assisted living facility. All state veterans’ homes are currently operational.
- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports VA Outpatient Clinics in Pensacola, Panama City Beach, Eglin AFB, Marianna, Tallahassee and Perry are closed today. Patient appointments have been rescheduled.The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) is working with courts in Florida Panhandle counties to sign blanket travel approvals for all foster parents to evacuate with children in foster care.
- DCF has ordered an early release of food assistance benefits for those Florida residents in the 35 counties included in the emergency order who would have received normal SNAP benefits between now and October 28th.
- The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has reached out to high-priority regulated facilities to remind them of storm preparations they should be making, and has issued two emergency final orders to ensure recovery efforts are not hampered or delayed.
- DEP has activated and is closely monitoring StormTracker, a reporting tool for water and waste water facilities to provide updates on their operational status.
- An online tool for the public to report the location of storm debris in waterways has been deployed.
- The current condition of the state’s beaches has been assessed, which will expedite post-storm assessments.
- 235 Disaster Debris Management Sites have been pre-authorized for the counties addressed by the Governor’s Executive Order.
- Florida State Park closures can be found at https://www.floridastateparks.org/StormUpdates
- DEP’s Florida Park Service has opened areas to dry camp for self-contained rigs – usually parking lots without utility connections – at some state parks for evacuees on a first come, first served basis with waived overnight fees. A list of open parks and contact information to check for availability can be found at https://www.floridastateparks.org/get-involved/storm-assistance.
BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY
- To help residents and emergency personnel stay connected following the storm, Comcast is opening its network of more than 8,000 Xfinity WiFi hotspots throughout the Florida Panhandle, including Tallahassee, Panama City, Panama City Beach and surrounding areas and the Dothan, Alabama area, to anyone to use for free, including non-Xfinity customers.
- The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) continues to encourage businesses to visit FloridaDisaster.biz for disaster preparedness tips and register to receive updates as the storm progresses.
- The state has opened the Private Sector Hotline at (850) 815-4925. The hotline is available for business inquiries about the storm, preparedness information and post-impact information.
- DEO continues to coordinate with CareerSource Florida, local workforce boards, and other public-private partners.
- VISIT Florida has activated the Expedia/VISIT Florida Hotel Accommodation Web Portal to support evacuation orders. Visitwww.expedia.com/florida to find available hotel rooms.
- Airbnb Open Homes is now active in Alabama, Florida and Georgia in response to Hurricane Michael. Over 150 Airbnb community members have opened their homes at no cost to evacuees and first responders thus far. Visit www.airbnb.com/HurricaneMichael for open homes.
- Members of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association in the Tallahassee area are providing meals and lodging for first responders.
- The Florida Retail Federation and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association continue to share disaster preparedness information with their business affiliates.
- The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) offers a Hurricane Guide with information about hurricane preparedness, what to do as a storm approaches, disaster recovery, and helpful hurricane-related resources. DBPR has shared the Guide on social media and it is available at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/documents/HurricaneGuide_web.pdf.
- A team from FEMA including experts from Homeland Security, the EPA, the Department of Defense, Health and Human Services, and the Army Corps of Engineers is now in Florida and providing federal assistance
· The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) is in contact with school districts, state colleges and universities for updates and to determine needs before, during and after emergency events. All school districts, colleges and universities are monitoring Hurricane Michael and collaborating with local emergency preparedness officials to make decisions that ensure student and staff safety.
· The following school districts have announced closures:
o Baker will be closed Wednesday (10/10) and Thursday (10/11).
o Bay will be closed Tuesday (10/9) and Wednesday (10/10).
o Bradford will be closed Wednesday (10/10) and Thursday (10/11).
o Calhoun will be closed Tuesday (10/9) – Thursday (10/11).
o Citrus will be closed Tuesday (10/9) and Wednesday (10/10).
o Dixie will be closed Tuesday (10/9) – Thursday (10/11).
o Escambia will have early release Tuesday (10/9) and remain closed Wednesday (10/10).
o Florida A&M High will be closed Tuesday (10/9) – Friday (10/12).
o Florida State University Schools (Florida High) will be closed Tuesday (10/9) – Friday (10/12).
o Franklin will be closed Tuesday (10/9) – Friday (10/12).
o Gadsden will be closed Tuesday (10/9) – Friday (10/12).
o Gilchrist will be closed Tuesday (10/9) and Wednesday (10/10).
o Gulf will be closed Tuesday (10/9) – Friday (10/12) and will re-open after Fall Break, on Wednesday, 10/17.
o Hamilton will be closed Wednesday (10/10) and Thursday (10/11).
o Holmes will be closed Tuesday (10/9) – Thursday (10/11).
o Jackson will be closed Tuesday (10/9) and Wednesday (10/10).
o Jefferson will be closed Tuesday (10/9) and Wednesday (10/10).
o Lafayette will be closed Wednesday (10/10) and Thursday (10/11).
o Leon will be closed Tuesday (10/9) – Friday (10/12).
o Levy will be closed Wednesday (10/10) and Thursday (10/11).
o Liberty will be closed Tuesday (10/9) – Thursday (10/11).
o Madison will be closed Tuesday (10/9) – Thursday (10/11).
o Okaloosa will be closed Tuesday (10/9) and Wednesday (10/10).
o Santa Rosa will be closed Tuesday (10/9) and remain closed Wednesday (10/10).
o Suwannee will be closed Tuesday (10/9) – Thursday (10/11).
o Taylor will be closed Tuesday (10/9) – Thursday (10/11).
o Union will be closed Wednesday (10/10) and Thursday (10/11).
o Wakulla will be closed Tuesday (10/9) – Friday (10/12).
o Walton will be closed Tuesday (10/9) – Thursday (10/11).
o Washington will have early release Tuesday (10/9) and remain closed Wednesday (10/10).
The following state colleges and universities have announced closures:
o Chipola College will be closed Tuesday (10/9) and Wednesday (10/10).
o Florida A&M University will be closed Tuesday (10/9) – Friday (10/12).
o Florida Gateway College will be closed on Wednesday (10/10).
o Florida State University will be closed Tuesday (10/9) – Friday (10/12).
o Gulf Coast State College closed at 5 p.m. Monday (10/8) and remain closed Tuesday (10/9) and Wednesday (10/10).
o North Florida Community College will close at 3 p.m. Tuesday (10/9) and remain closed Wednesday (10/10) and Thursday (10/11).
o Northwest Florida State College will be closed Tuesday (10/9) and Wednesday (10/10).
o Pensacola State College will close at 4 p.m. Tuesday (10/9) and remain closed Wednesday (10/10)
o Tallahassee Community College will be closed Tuesday (10/9) through Friday, 10/12.
o The University of West Florida will close at noon Tuesday (10/9) and remain closed Wednesday (10/10).
The following Division of Blind Services (DBS) and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) offices are closed through Friday (10/12):
o Alachua (DVR): 2610 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville
o Alachua (DBS): 3620 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville
o Bay (DVR & DBS): 2505 West 15th Street, Panama City
o Citrus (DVR): 204 South Apopka Avenue, Inverness
o Columbia (DVR): 1389 U.S. Highway 90 West, Lake City
o Dixie (DVR): 25821 SE 19 Highway, Old Town
o Escambia (DVR & DBS): 600 University Office Boulevard, Pensacola
o Gadsden (DVR): 305 West Crawford Street, Qunincy
o Hernando (DVR): 7361 Forest Oaks Boulevard, Spring Hill
o Hillsborough (DVR): 9215 North Florida Avenue, Tampa
o Hillsborough (DVR): 510 Vonderburg Drive, Brandon
o Hillsborough (DVR): 1702 South Alexander Street, Plant City
o Hillsborough (DVR, DBS & Migrant Worker): 1313 Tampa Street, Tampa
o Jackson (DVR): 4743B Highway 90 East, Marianna
o Leon (DBS): 4972 Woodville Highway, Tallahassee
o Leon (DVR & DBS): 1320 Executive Center Drive, Tallahassee
o Leon (DVR): 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee
o Manatee (DVR & DBS): 600 8th Avenue West, Tallahassee
o Okaloosa (DVR): 119 Beal Parkway, Fort Walton Beach
o Pasco (DVR): 4440-5636 Trouble Creek Road, New Port Richey
o Pasco (DVR): 15000 Citrus Country Drive, Dade City
o Pinellas (DVR): 701 94th Avenue North, St. Petersburg
o Pinellas (DVR): 525 Mirror Lake Drive, St. Petersburg
o Pinellas (DVR): 11351 Ulmerton Road, Largo
o Suwannee (DVR): 1431 North Ohio Avenue, Live Oak
The following Office of Early Learning office is closed through Friday (10/12):
o Leon: 250 Marriott Drive, Tallahassee
The following Board of Governors office is closed through Friday (10/12):
o Leon: 107 West Gaines Street, Tallahassee
Districts are opening shelters as needed; for a list of Florida shelters, visit https://www.floridadisaster.org/planprepare/shelters/.
FDOE will be posting up-to-date information regarding closures and meeting cancellations at www.fldoe.org/hurricaneinfo.
INSURANCE AND FINANCIAL SERVICES
- The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) is prepared to order property insurers to submit claims information from Hurricane Michael, if necessary.
- Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier and CFO Jimmy Patronis conducted a conference call with representatives of various insurance companies that have policies in force within the regions forecasted to be impacted by Hurricane Michael to ensure those companies:
- Have resources positioned and available to respond to consumers’ needs
- Assess damage and pay claims quickly
- Report any challenges or issues as quickly as possible
- Report claims to the OIR on time and in accordance with the reporting schedule that will be issued later today.
- OIR has fully activated its Incident Management Unit and has representatives at the State Emergency Operations Center. OIR will be actively working throughout this storm with consumer advocates, industry stakeholders and entities licensed under OIR’s regulatory authority.
- OIR is preparing to order property insurers to submit claims information from Hurricane Michael.
- In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order, OIR has notified all health insurers, managed care organizations and other health entities of their statutory obligation to allow for early prescription refills during a state of emergency.
- The Florida Department of Management Services, Division of State Group Insurance, has arranged for early prescription renewals for members of the state group insurance program.
- The Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Consumer Services has resources for consumers seeking assistance with the claims-filing process or to file insurance complaints HERE.
- CFO Jimmy Patronis activated his Disaster Fraud Action Strike Team (DFAST) to get ahead of and stop post-storm fraud.
- CFO Jimmy Patronis’ Division of Consumer Services has resources for consumers who need help with financial hurricane prepHERE and those seeking assistance with the claims-filing process or to file insurance complaints HERE.
STATE OFFICE CLOSURES
· State offices will be closed today through Thursday in the 35 counties included in Governor Scott’s emergency order.
· DMS will stay in contact with all state offices and has asked them to report closures in WebEOC.
- As the state’s lead agency for coordinating volunteers and donations before, during and after disasters, Volunteer Florida has established resources for individuals and groups who would like to support Floridians affected by Hurricane Michael.
- Those interested in volunteering can visit www.VolunteerFlorida.org and register on the volunteer database.
- At Governor Scott’s direction, Volunteer Florida has activated the Florida Disaster Fund, the State of Florida’s official private fund established to assist Florida’s communities as they respond to and recover during times of emergency or disaster. In partnership with the public sector, private sector and other non-governmental organizations, the Florida Disaster Fund supports response and recovery activities. To donate, visit, www.volunteerflorida.org/donatefdf/.
- As disaster response organizations, like the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army, evaluate their needs and asses their resources, qualified volunteers will be contacted.
- The Salvation Army is working with state and local emergency management throughout the Florida Panhandle.
- The Salvation Army has established a command center in Tampa and is prepared to mobilize incident management teams to the Florida Panhandle to serve impacted areas after the storm makes landfall.
- Personnel and mobile feeding units are on standby ready to move in after the storm. The Salvation Army’s mobile feeding units can serve 500-1,500 meals per day.
- Red Cross is bringing in 500 disaster relief workers to shelter and feed at sites in affected counties.
STATE EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTER/ CONTACTS
- The State Emergency Operations Center remains activated at a level one, which is a full-scale, 24-hours-a-day activation.
- The State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) contact number is 1-800-342-3557.
- The State Emergency Operations Center Media Line: 850-921-0217.
- Follow @FLSert or @FLGovScott on Twitter for live updates on Hurricane Michael.
- Visit http://www.floridadisaster.org/info to find information on shelters, road closures, and evacuation routes.